How did the wearing of masks in public become a feature of our current political divide? Why is one of our political parties said to be considering banning the wearing of masks on the floor of their upcoming national convention? What is it about your wearing a mask to protect me that threatens your sense of freedom? What happened to the idea that "we are in this together"?
Recently I posted a "Musing" in Forum expressing my anger at those who were demanding an early release from shelter-in-place requirements, pointing out that abandonment of such precautions would surely result in a surge of new cases which could overwhelm our medical resources. As an eighty year old man, at higher risk of severe disease, my claim for limited medical resources would be weak one. I have the same concern when I see neighbors and friends outside chatting with others, not following mask and distancing guidelines. When challenged, they frequently say they are not afraid of the virus, and therefore do not feel obligated. But those suggested measures are to protect ME, and I follow them to protect THEM.
In the previous Forum posting, I considered the devastating ethical decisions medical teams might have to make as resources are depleted. and the PTS-like aftermath they will have to live with afterwards. The attached article from the current New England Journal of Medicine shows that others in my profession are considering the same issues. It is not brief, but does give guidelines for days we pray never come to the Bay Area.
William R. Crain, M.D.